Best Womens Rash Guard Tops (2021 Review)

Nobody wants to face a rash, sunburn, or chafe after surfing. If you’re not properly prepared though, these are only too likely to happen. This is why women’s rash guard tops are so important. 

Rash guards add a vital layer of protection while you’re in the water or on the beach. They’ll help you enjoy surfing a lot more and allow you to look amazing while you do. Follow our guide to the best women’s rash guard tops to help you find the perfect rashie for summer.

rash guard women

What is a Rash Guard?

A rash guard is a special type of top used for watersports to protect the wearer against rashes, chafe, and sunburn. These tops are generally made from a thin type of spandex and nylon or polyester material.

Rash guards are often used for surfing, diving, snorkeling, swimming, wakeboarding, or any other watersport. Rash guards are relatively tight-fitting, fast-drying, and made from a stretchy material. 

Features of a Womens Rash Guard Top

Women’s rash guard tops can include a range of different features. Here are some of the most important considerations to make when you choose one.

Long-Sleeve or Short-Sleeve

The first thing you’ll notice about swim shirts for women is that their sleeve lengths differ. You get long sleeve rash guards, short sleeve rash guards, and even ¾ sleeve options.

Long sleeves offer the best sun protection. They cover the entire arm, so your entire upper body will be safe. They also offer more protection against abrasion on the arms. The only downside is they might be a little bit more constricting, and not slip on and off as easily.

Short-sleeved rash guards are extremely comfortable. They’re easy to wear, cooler on hot days, and allow for more movement in the arms. However, they don’t offer as much protection against the sun. 

Both types of rash guards are good options. The style you choose should depend on your personal preference and the conditions you plan on using the rash guard in.

Material

Women’s rash guard tops come in a range of different materials. They’re generally made from a blend of polyester and elastane, but could be made from lycra, nylon, or even neoprene (wetsuit material).

Always look for a rash guard that breathes well and is quick-drying. It should be soft against the skin, and not offer any irritations – like scratchy seams. The material should also be flexible and stretchy to accommodate easy movement in the water.

woman surfing

Fit

Different women’s rash guard tops offer different fits. Some are quite loose-fitting, and some offer a tight performance fit. Make sure you choose a fit that matches how you’ll be using the rash guard.

For example, tighter fits are better for water sports because they won’t cause any drag, while looser fits are more comfortable for wearing during beach and pool days

The neck is an important consideration here. Some tops have a banded crew neckline, others have a turtleneck collar. This will make a big difference to how the top feels, how easy it is to put on, and how much water it lets through. 

Some people like to wear rash guards for activities like yoga, running, diving, or wakeboarding. Make sure the fit you choose is flexible enough to support this.

Design

Rash guards are practical athletic shirts, but this doesn’t mean they can’t look good too! There are all kinds of different colors and design options available. Choose one that best matches your personal style. 

Some are bright and bold, some have detailed designs, some are subdued and simple. You can also buy some rash guards with matching bottoms if you want to wear them as a full suit. 

Benefits of Using a Women’s Rash Guard

Women’s rash guard tops are a great idea for many different reasons. Here are some of the main benefits of wearing a rash guard.

Rash Protection

As the name suggests, rash guards are designed to protect your body from rashes. This is really important for surfing, as it protects your body against abrasion on the board. Rash guards are also helpful for wearing underneath a wetsuit or wearing during any other water activity – like SUP boarding or kayaking. 

Sun Protection

One of the main reasons people wear rash guard tops is to protect their bodies from the sun. Most rash guards offer UPF 50+ protection. They’re light and cool enough to wear on hot days but will keep your upper body completely protected. 

The sun protection from these swim tops is a major advantage for long surf sessions, beach days, snorkeling trips, and more.

sun on the beach

Warmth

Although they’re not necessarily designed for this, some rash guards can add an extra layer of thermal protection. For example, the Scubapro Pyroflex rash guard is made from a thin layer of neoprene and acts like a thin wetsuit. 

Versatility

Women’s rash guard tops are suitable for many different uses. You can comfortably wear them on land and in the water. They’re perfect for active uses, or just for a lazy day by the pool. Wear them to your yoga class, take them surfing, wear them on a jog, and more. The right rash guard could give you plenty of uses. 

The 10 Best Women’s Rash Guard Tops

We’ve rounded 10 of the best women’s rash guard tops to help you find the perfect top for your needs. 

Body Glove Women’s Long Sleeve Rashguard

  • Zipper closure
  • Soft and fast-drying
  • Highly stretchy fabric
  • Long sleeve rash guard

This bright and colorful women’s rash guard is an excellent choice for use on land and in the water. Its versatile material is soft and comfortable to wear and has been designed to be very fast-drying. The flatlock seams minimize chafing from movement, making this a  comfortable rashguard to wear on the beach, while surfing, or doing yoga. 

The rashguard top is colorful and fun with its detailed design. There are also matching pants to go with the top. Buying the set gives you a stylish waterproof outfit for all kinds of activities

One of the best features of this rash guard is the zipper closure system. We all know how hard it can be to pull off a wet rash guard that sticks to your skin. Well, the front zipper makes it way easier to take the rash guard on and off. With long sleeves, this rash guard also offers better sun protection. 

bodyglove womens longsleeve rashguard

Scubapro Pyroflex Womens Rash Guard Top

  • Made from lightweight neoprene
  • Provides a layer of thermal protection
  • A short sleeve rash guard
  • Plush and fleece interior linings

Most women’s rash guard tops won’t keep you warm, but this one does with its thermal protection. The rashguard is made from a thin layer of neoprene, which is what wetsuits are made from. This makes the rash guard lightweight and durable while providing a layer of warmth in cold waters.

With a high-tech plush and fleece interior lining, the rashguard also reduces water flow. This gives you even more comfort and warmth. It may be a short-sleeved rash guard top, but all of the openings are designed to block water intrusion. This reduces convection for effective thermal regulation. And once the chest area is warm, it will help the rest of your body to stay warm.

Besides the warmth, this rash guard top is soft and comfortable. It isn’t particularly stylish with its simple black and grey design, but it’s a rash guard that’s meant for adding warmth and comfort in the water. If you’re looking for a rash guard top for diving, surfing, or other cold-water activities, then this would be a perfect choice. 

ScubaPro Pyroflex Rash Guard

HydroChic Women’s Rash Guard

  • Made from lycra and nylon
  • ¾ length swimsuit top
  • 100% chlorine resistant
  • UPF 50+ sun protection

Here’s the perfect women’s rash guard top for a day at the pool or a day at the beach. This top looks great with its colorful tribal sleeves and black torso. Its vibrant look will keep you stylish in all kinds of activities, while keeping you protected from the sun.

The rash guard has ¾ length sleeves for plenty of sun protection. The material is also designed with UPF 50+ sun protection to keep you shielded for an extended period of time. This top is made from lightweight and quick-drying lycra and nylon. It’s completely breathable, it dries in an instant, and it will keep you comfortable all day.

It’s also a 100% chlorine-resistant swim top which makes it more convenient to wear at the pool. Swim skirts, sports, shorts, and fitness pants are also available to perfectly match your rash guard top. 

Hydrochic Womens Rash Guard Top

Tutublue Pullover Swim Shirts for Women

  • Long sleeve rash guard top
  • Durable four-way stretch fabric
  • UPF 50+ sun protection
  • Quick-drying and comfortable

When it comes to women’s rash guard tops, this option by Tutublue is just as stylish as it is functional. These tops come in a vivid pink or kaleidoscope design. The slimming printed fabric maintains its color and is comfortable to wear for all kinds of activities. Whether it’s yoga, surfing, beach volleyball, snorkeling, or swimming, this rash guard is ideal.

The Tutublue rash guard is made from a durable four-way stretch fabric that supports a flattering feminine fit. The design features long sleeves, a close-fitting turtle collar, and thumbholes for maximum coverage. With this rash guard, you’ll be completely protected from the sun. This is enhanced with the UP 50+ sun protection.

These water shirts are made from a blend of recycled polyester and spandex. They’re breathable, fast-drying, and offer a relaxed fit. 

Tutublue Pullover Swim Shirts for Women

Roxy Women’s Whole Hearted Short Sleeve Rashguard

  • Short sleeve rash guard top
  • UPF 50+ sun protection
  • Made from polyester and elastane
  • Soft and snug fitting

Roxy is one of the leading female surf brands, so it’s no surprise that they offer some of the best women’s rash guard tops. Their Whole Hearted short sleeve rash guard tops are made from recycled polyester blended with some elastane. This makes the tops soft, stretchy, and fast-drying. They offer a snug first for all sizes.

These short-sleeved rash guard tops are simple. They’re available in a range of different solid colors, finished with the Roxy logo. The material offers UPF 50+ protection. 

If you’re looking for the perfect rash guard top for surfing, swimming, or any kind of water activity, then this is a comfortable, practical choice. 

Roxy Women's Whole Hearted Short Sleeve Rashguard

Daci Zipper Bathing Suit 

  • Front zipper closure
  • Built-in bra swim top
  • UPF 50+ sun protection
  • Long sleeve rash guard top

This women’s rash guard top is full of great features. It’s got a front zipper closure which marks the top way easier to pull on and off. There’s a built-in bra swim top to offer support and comfort. The rash guard has long sleeves for complete sun protection, and it’s made from UPF 50+ material to keep you safe during long days on the beach. 

The rash guard is made from 85% polyester and 15% spandex. This creates a perfect material blend that’s soft, quick-drying, breathable, and durable for long-term use. It will protect you against rashes, abrasions, and harmful UV rays while surfing, swimming, wakeboarding, or just chilling on the beach. 

Daci also has some of the most stylish women’s rash guard tops out there. These tops are available in a range of different colors and designs to keep you looking great. 

daci zipper bathing suit

Kanu Surf Women’s Keri Long Sleeve Rash Vest

  • Long sleeve rash guard top
  • Made from polyester and spandex
  • Wide range of colors and designs available
  • UPF 50+ sun protection

The Kanu Surf women’s rash guard tops are ideal for all kinds of activities. They have a completely comfortable fit with a banded crew neckline and long raglan seam sleeves. You can easily pull on these rash guards when wet or dry.

The long sleeves and 50+ UPF rating offer superior sun protection. The polyester and spandex blend also creates a rash guard that is breathable, fast-drying, lightweight, and soft to wear. These rash guards protect you against rashes and abrasions for far better surfing or watersport experiences.

Finally, these rash guards are available in one of the widest selections of colors and designs. Whatever your style or size, you’ll be able to find a rash guard that perfectly matches you.

Kanu Surf Women's Keri Long-Sleeve Rash Vest

O’Neill Women’s Basic Skins Long Sleeve Rash Guard

  • Long sleeve rash guard top
  • 50+ UPF sun protection
  • Available in a wide range of colors
  • Comfortable and durable polyester/spandex design

You can’t talk about the best rash guard tops without including O’Neill in the list. O’Neill has always been one of the best surf brands, and this rash guard top of theirs ticks all the right boxes. It’s simple, comfortable, durable, perfectly designed for long use in the water.

The top has minimal seam placement to offer maximum rash protection. Being made from spandex and polyester, this rash guard is stretchy and durable. It’s made with a form-fitting performance design for absolute comfort while surfing, swimming, or doing any kind of watersports. 

And these rash guard tops don’t just feel good – they are also available in many different colors to match your style.

O'Neill Women's Basic Skins Long Sleeve Rash Guard

O’Neill Women’s Basic Skins Short Sleeve Rash Guard

  • Short sleeve rash guard top
  • UPF 50+ sun protection
  • Minimal seam placement for maximum rash protection
  • Form-fitting performance fit

If you don’t want long sleeves, then this O’Neill women’s rash guard top is perfect. The short sleeve design is comfortable and easy to wear. The durable polyester and spandex material makes this rash guard stretchy, soft, and fast-drying.

 It’s also designed with a performance fit that tightly fits the body. This is the perfect fit for watersports and active use. And with minimal seam placement, you don’t have to worry about uncomfortable rashes.

Your arms may not be fully covered, but the rash guard still offers solid UPF 50+ ultraviolet protection. The product is recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation. Overall, this is a high-quality, simple rash guard top to keep you protected during all kinds of activities. 

Oneill Womens Basic Skins Short Sleeve Rash Guard

Roxy Womens Rash Guard

  • Long-sleeved rash guard top
  • Made from polyester and elastane
  • Banded crew neckline
  • UPF 50+ protection

Roy women’s rash guard tops are some of the best, including this long-sleeve option. The long sleeves and banded crew neckline offer an easy and comfortable fit while providing complete protection against the sun. The fit is easy to pull on and off, but it’s also tight enough to offer great performance in the water. 

This rash guard is made from a polyester and elastane blend for stretchiness, softness, and breathability. The rashguard has a simple color-blocking design that looks great. It’s also a recommended product by the Skin Cancer Foundation.

If you’re after a high-quality rash guard that feels great and keeps you protected, then this option offers exactly that.

rash guard women

Conclusion

Women’s rash guard tops are incredibly important for protecting against sunburn, chafe, and rash. The right rash guard will make your time in the water so much more enjoyable, and you won’t leave the beach in discomfort.

It can be tricky to narrow down the best rash guard, which is why we put together our list of the top 10. The products listed above are some of the best quality and best-looking rashies for all kinds of uses. 

FAQ’s

What are swim shirts for women?

Swim shirts for women, also known as rash guards, are lightweight, waterproof shirts to protect our bodies against sunburn, rashes, and chafe. They’re generally used for surfing, snorkeling, wakeboarding, diving, or any other water activity.

Should a rash vest be tight?

Rash vests are lightweight and breathe very well. They should fit snug while still being stretchy and flexible so that they are restricting.

Do rash guards stretch when wet?

No. Rash guards are specially designed for use in the water, so they’ll keep their fit and remain light when wet.

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